Sunday, January 18, 2015

Fresh Ink: Spotlight on Debut Books of All Kinds
Maddie Fynn is a shy high school junior, cursed with an eerie intuitive ability: she sees a series of unique digits hovering above the foreheads of each person she encounters. Her earliest memories are marked by these numbers, but it takes her father's premature death for Maddie and her family to realize that these mysterious digits are actually deathdates, and just like birthdays, everyone has one.

Forced by her alcoholic mother to use her ability to make extra money, Maddie identifies the quickly approaching deathdate of one client's young son, but because her ability only allows her to see the when and not the how, she's unable to offer any more insight. When the boy goes missing on that exact date, law enforcement turns to Maddie.

Soon, Maddie is entangled in a homicide investigation, and more young people disappear and are later found murdered. A suspect for the investigation, a target for the murderer, and attracting the attentions of a mysterious young admirer who may be connected to it all, Maddie's whole existence is about to be turned upside down. Can she right things before it's too late?

A letter from Maddie:

I'm new to the group, but I'd like to take a moment to introduce myself.  My name is Madelyn Fynn - Maddie - and I'm currently attending Poplar Hollow High in Poplar Hollow, New York.  Don't worry if you can't find that on a map; Google doesn't seem to recognize it.

Anyway, ever since I can remember, I've seen the world a little differently.  I can see what no one else can.  When I look at someone - be it somebody standing in front of me, or in a photograph, or on a movie screen - I see a series of digits floating just above his or her brow.  I learned the hard way, after my dad was murdered, that the digits represent the date that person will die.  It's a terrible "talent" to have because in absolutely every face I look at, I see death.  Sometimes the person I'm looking at has far less time than they, or anyone else, might think.  I'm like the Grim Reaper incarnate, and it's awful.

Worse yet, telling someone their date has never had an effect on the numbers.  They've always remained stubbornly fixed, no matter how much warning I give a person, which is a whole other awful thing to have to live with.  If knowing when someone will die won't change anything, then why am I cursed with the ability?  Seriously, what's the point?

Still, Ma and I are trying to make the most of it.  We charge people a little money to tell them their date, and it helps to pay the bills, and maybe it gives them time to get their affairs in order, or to live a more fulfilled life.  Trouble is, Ma is drinking away most of the extra money, and recently a woman came to me asking about her young daughter, who is very, very sick.  I had good news about her daughter.  She'll get better and live a long life ... but the woman's middle son is a whole other story.  His deathdate was yesterday, and now he's gone missing, and the FBI just came to my school and wants to have a word with me. 

Things are about to go very, very bad, I think.

To read what comes next, maybe you'll pick up a copy of When, which comes out next Tuesday, January 13th. In the meantime, if you're intrigued by my ability, maybe you should ask yourself: if someone could tell you your deathdate, would you want to know?

Best wishes,

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